Click here to listen to the broadcast of You Tell Me on KTBB AM & FM, Friday, March. 11, 2011.
Did you see the movie Groundhog Day with Bill Murray? If you did, you will recall that he kept waking up in a hotel room in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania on the morning of Groundhog Day. Each morning, the alarm clock would flip over to 6 a.m. and out the speaker would come the strains of Sonny & Cher singing “I Got You Babe.”
No matter what he did in the ensuing 24 hours, he always woke up to “I Got You Babe” and it was always Groundhog Day.
With respect to oil and gasoline prices, I’m beginning to feel like Bill Murray. Despite having suffered $4.00 gasoline in the summer of 2008, despite a bunch of palaver from the left about “green energy” and “ending our addiction to oil” and despite the best efforts of the oil industry to produce new and rich oil fields right here at home, we still find ourselves facing $4.00 gasoline as if we, like Bill Murray, are condemned to live the same dysfunctional day over and over.
Groundhog Day was allegorical with respect to Bill Murray’s character’s life. Our energy policy is similarly allegorical with respect to our fiscal policy.
Let me explain.
The world market for oil is in extremely delicate balance. The unrest in Libya has jeopardized a mere two percent of daily oil output and as a result prices have spiked by more than 30 percent. The world oil market sits on such a knife-edge that a very small change in supply touches off a very significant increase in the price.
Thus it is extremely frustrating that huge quantities of oil from known formations on our own soil and in our own waters are being kept off limits by wrong-headed federal policy.
In 1973, the Arab oil embargo led to the creation of the Department of Energy. Its mission was to end America’s dependence on imported oil. It has succeeded in going through billions of dollars and employing thousands of well-paid bureaucrats but it has accomplished nothing with respect to brining about energy independence.
The American oil and gas industry, however, has been hard at work. Huge advances in exploration and drilling technology have served to discover and make recoverable vast reserves of oil that at one time we either didn’t know existed or could not produce economically.
America is sitting on trillions of dollars worth of oil. That would be great news were it not for the fact that federal policy is keeping that oil off limits.
To deal with high oil prices, the president does not propose to open up known oil reserves to drilling. He is floating instead the idea of releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to push down prices by momentarily increasing supply.
Never mind that the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was not created for the purpose of mitigating the market. It was created so as to avoid Armageddon in the event world oil supply was seriously disrupted.
Once again, the president proposes to spend saved wealth, in this case oil that has been being put aside since 1975, rather than permit the creation of new wealth by allowing the production of domestic oil reserves.
At least he’s consistent.
The president’s reckless spending is depleting wealth that has been accumulating for generations. Concurrently, his policies stand in the way of economic growth.
See the parallel?
Our parents and grandparents left us a free, vibrant, dynamic and wealthy nation.
It is not just this administration, but it is most egregiously this administration, that has depleted that wealth – to the great detriment of those who will inherit from us.
Are you embarrassed?
I know I am.